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Tony Cárdenas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tony Cárdenas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byAdam Schiff (Redistricting)
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 6th district
In office
July 1, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byRuth Galanter
Succeeded byNury Martinez
Assistant President Pro Tempore of the
Los Angeles City Council
In office
July 1, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Preceded byEric Garcetti
Succeeded byJan Perry
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 39th district
In office
December 2, 1996 – November 30, 2002
Preceded byRichard Katz
Succeeded byCindy Montañez
Personal details
Antonio Cárdenas

(1963-03-31) March 31, 1963 (age 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseNorma Rodriguez
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (BS)
WebsiteHouse website

Antonio Cárdenas (/ˈkɑːrdəˌnɑːs/ KAR-də-NAHSS; born March 31, 1963) is an American politician who has served as the United States representative for California's 29th congressional district since January 2013.

A member of the Democratic Party, Cárdenas was previously a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the Sixth Council District, which covers parts of the northeast San Fernando Valley, including Arleta, Pacoima, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Van Nuys, and Lake Balboa.

Cárdenas was elected to the California State Assembly for three consecutive terms and chaired the budget committee. He was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2003 and reelected in 2007 and 2011. Cárdenas was elected to Congress in 2012[1] and has been reelected every two years since.[2] He is not seeking re-election in 2024.[3]

Early life and education

Cárdenas was born on March 31, 1963, in Pacoima, Los Angeles.[4] He is one of 11 children of Andrés Cárdenas and María Quezada, who immigrated to the United States shortly after marrying in Jalisco, Mexico, in 1946.[5] Andrés Cárdenas was a farm worker near Stockton, California, before the family relocated to Pacoima in 1954.[5]

Cárdenas graduated from San Fernando High School in the northeast San Fernando Valley.[6] In 1986, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.[4]

California State Assembly


In 1996, Cárdenas ran for California's 39th State Assembly district after Democratic incumbent Richard Katz decided not to run for reelection. He defeated Republican Ollie McCaulley 72%-28%.[7] In 1998, he was reelected with 87% of the vote.[8][9] In 2000, he was reelected to a third term with 78% of the vote.[10][11]


Cárdenas's state reforms brought 78,000 new classroom seats and 15 playgrounds throughout Los Angeles. He also secured more than $650 million for new school construction. He authored legislation that reformed California's gang prevention and intervention programs and teamed up with fellow Democrat Adam Schiff to create the Schiff-Cárdenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act.[12]

Committee assignments

Los Angeles City Council

Cárdenas as a member of the Los Angeles City Council in 2008.


In 2002, Cárdenas ran for the Los Angeles City Council's 2nd district. Wendy Greuel defeated him 50.4%-49.6%, a difference of 225 votes.[15][16] In 2003, he ran for the City Council's 6th district. He defeated Jose Roy Garcia 69%-31%.[17] In 2007, he was reelected with 66% of the vote.[18] In 2011, he was reelected to a third term with 58% of the vote.[19]


Cárdenas is an animal rights activist. He authored legislation that created Los Angeles's first Animal Cruelty Task Force, which arrests animal abusers. He supported the city's mandatory spay/neuter ordinance to reduce the number of stray and homeless animals.

Cárdenas strongly supported green energy. He proposed the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard that established goals for the city's Department of Water and Power to obtain at least 20% of its energy from wind and solar. He also proposed a plan that would convert all of the city's taxis to be fuel-efficient by 2015.[20]

As chair of the city's Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development, Cárdenas identified millions of dollars overlooked by the city to help keep kids off the streets, and reduced crime while reducing expenditures on crime abatement programs. As vice chair of the city's Public Safety Committee, he spearheaded the most comprehensive gang intervention model in the country. The Community-Based Gang Intervention Model standardized and defined the methods used by gang intervention workers to help stop violence in some of Los Angeles's most dangerous neighborhoods.[21]

In 2012, Cárdenas passed amendments to the city's daytime curfew ordinance. The new policy eliminated fines of up to $500 that students were facing. It also reduced court visits for parents and students and gave students the opportunity to do community service to eliminate citations.[22]

Committee assignments

  • Business Tax Reform (chair)
  • Energy and Natural Resources (chair)
  • Gang Violence and Youth Development (chair)[23]
  • Budget and Finance
  • Housing, Community and Economic Development

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[24]

Caucus memberships


In 2012, Cárdenas ran for the newly redrawn California's 29th congressional district after redistricting. In the June open primary, he ranked first with 64% of the vote. Independent David Hernandez, president of the San Fernando Chamber of Commerce, ranked second with 22% of the vote, qualifying for the November election. Richard Valdez ranked third with 14% of the vote.[30] In the November general election, Cárdenas defeated Hernandez, 74%-26%.[31][32]


As of October 2021, Cárdenas had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[33]

On November 20, 2023, it was reported that Cárdenas would not run for re-election in 2024.[3]

Political positions


Cárdenas opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling it an "all out assault on autonomy".[34]

Big Tech

In 2022, Cárdenas was one of 16 Democrats to vote against the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, an antitrust package that would crack down on corporations for anti-competitive behavior.[35][36]


Cardenas voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[37][38]

Personal life

Chicano literature author Luis J. Rodriguez is Cárdenas's brother-in-law.[39]

On May 3, 2018, Cárdenas identified himself as the subject of a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County alleging sexual abuse of a minor in 2007. The lawsuit alleged that a (then unnamed) local politician[40] drugged a 16-year-old girl at the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles and then sexually molested her while driving her to the emergency room after she passed out, though there has been no evidence to link him to such accusations.[41] Cárdenas issued a statement in response to the charges, calling them "100%, categorically untrue".[42]

On July 3, 2019, Angela Chavez, the woman who made the accusations against Cárdenas, dropped the lawsuit. It was also noted that her father, Gus Villela, approached Richard Alarcon, who ran against Cárdenas in 2016, offering to spread negative information about Cárdenas in exchange for a job with Alarcon's congressional campaign. Alarcon said he declined to hire Villela and reported the meeting to the FBI.[43] The case was settled as a resolution, not a settlement, with prejudice, meaning that the lawsuit cannot be refiled, vindicating Cárdenas.[44]

See also


  1. ^ Castro, Tony. "Tony Cardenas becomes newest California Congressman". Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  2. ^ Reilly, Mollie (November 5, 2014). "Tony Cardenas Wins Another Term In Congress". Huffington Post. New York City. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Foran, Clare; English, Molly (November 20, 2023). "Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas of California won't seek reelection". CNN. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Ramirez, Rosa (November 1, 2012). "California, 29th House District". National Journal. Washington, DC: Atlantic Media. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Hymon, Steve (May 7, 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  6. ^ Chou, Elizabeth (October 2018). "As election nears, San Fernando High School mural of local politicians, leaders is painted over". Daily News. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  7. ^ "CA State Assembly 39 Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "CA State Assembly 39 Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "CA Secretary of State - Vote98 - State Assembly District 39 - District-wide". Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "CA State Assembly 39 Race - Nov 07, 2000". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "CA Secretary of State - Vote2000 - State Assembly District 39 - District-wide". Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "Biography | Congressman Tony Cardenas". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "Membership | Democrats, Energy and Commerce Committee". April 2015. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  14. ^ "Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives - Tony Cárdenas". Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  15. ^ "Los Angeles City Council - District 2 Race - Mar 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Councilmember; City of Los Angeles; District 2 Voter Information". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Los Angeles City Council - District 6 Race - Mar 04, 2003". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "Los Angeles City Council - District 6 Race - Mar 06, 2007". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Los Angeles City Council - District 6 Race - Mar 08, 2011". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Tony Cardenas for Congress Meet". Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  21. ^ Cárdenas, Tony. "A guide for understanding effective community-based gang intervention" (PDF).
  22. ^ Abdollah, Tami (February 22, 2012). "L.A. City Council unanimously approves changes to daytime curfew law". Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  23. ^ "Tony Cárdenas' Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. March 31, 1963. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "Tony Cárdenas". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  25. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  26. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  27. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  28. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  29. ^ "Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute".
  30. ^ "Our Campaigns - CA - District 29 - Open Primary Race - Jun 05, 2012". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  31. ^ "Our Campaigns - CA - District 29 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  34. ^ Cárdenas, Tony [@RepCardenas] (June 24, 2022). "The Supreme Court just overturned half a century of reproductive freedom. While I can't say I'm surprised, I am OUTRAGED. My heart is heavy today, but we will fight this together" (Tweet). Retrieved June 28, 2022 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "House passes antitrust bill that hikes M&A fees as larger efforts targeting tech have stalled". CNBC. September 29, 2022.
  36. ^ "H.R. 3843: Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022 -- House Vote #460 -- Sep 29, 2022".
  37. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  38. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  39. ^ "Tony Cardenas (D)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  40. ^ Smith, Dakota (April 27, 2018). "L.A. County politician sexually assaulted woman when she was 16, lawsuit claims". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  41. ^ Werner, Erica; Viebeck, Elise (May 3, 2018). "Rep. Tony Cárdenas denies lawsuit's allegations of child sex abuse in 2007". The Washington Post. Washington DC: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  42. ^ James, Mike (May 3, 2018). "Rep. Tony Cardenas 'categorically' denies alleged sexual abuse of teenager". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Company. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  43. ^ "High-profile law firm plans to quit sexual assault case targeting Rep. Tony Cardenas". Los Angeles Times. May 18, 2019.
  44. ^ Zahniser, David (July 3, 2019). "Woman who said Congressman Tony Cardenas molested her as a teenager drops lawsuit". Los Angeles Times.

External links

California Assembly
Preceded by Member of the California Assembly
from the 39th district

December 2, 1996 - November 30, 2002
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 6th district

July 1, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant President Pro Tempore of the
Los Angeles City Council

July 1, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 29th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 April 2024, at 15:22
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